Malta’s first-ever opera-film set for release this month

The film follows a love triangle set during World War I

Photo: Ken Scicluna
Photo: Ken Scicluna

Malta’s first-ever opera-film, Blat: The Island Fortress, is premiering in local cinemas on June 24.

BLAT: The Island Fortress is produced by Mikiel Anton Vassalli College, under the executive production of Victor Galea, composed by maestro Dr Reuben Pace, with lyrics by Ġorġ Peresso and Amy Borg, with the support of the Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts, and Local Government, and the Malta Arts Council.

BLAT explores the harsh realities of wartime Malta, framed, as the title implies, by the literal stone, shelters, and walls which served as the only protection for the Maltese during attacks from the air.

BLAT is the second multi-disciplinary professional production produced by City of Humanity, a creative platform created by maestro Pace. City of Humanity’s first production – the opera SWAR – was produced in 2018. BLAT builds on SWAR’s success, and, in a Maltese first, branches out in the cinematographic world.

Malta’s first opera-film is also unique in terms of its production, which actively involved students from the various schools forming Mikiel Anton Vassalli College. The College, which is home to over 4,000 students, offers recognised courses in several areas, including drama, dance, and music, among others.

BLAT was a unique opportunity for the College’s students to work on a professional production, and move closer to the industry they would eventually wish to work in. This production empowered students to work and collaborate with the many professionals involved in the creation of an Opera-Film, from the Artistic Director to the Choreographer, the Production Designer, the Director of Photography, Sound Operators, as well as hair and make-up artists, to name a few.

BLAT: The Island Fortress will premiere at the Eden Cinemas, St Julians, from the 24 to the 30 of June, as well as at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta, on the 5 and 8 of July.